We're happy to show the teens and young adults that they always have a family in the A's community, no matter what their own personal family situation might be.
Hayward, CA (PRWEB) April 08, 2015
The Oakland A’s will have their first ever Pride Night, celebrating the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community, on June 17 when they face the San Diego Padres, but the game’s real winners will be the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) community and supporters.
When A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan learned that some A’s season ticket holders feel uncomfortable about Pride Night and plan to skip it, Eireann, who was raised by two moms and wants to make sure the stadium is filled for Pride Night, came up with a brilliant solution for all involved.
Sean and Eireann offered to buy back, at face value, the ticket of any season ticket holder who won’t attend Pride Night. Eireann created a fundraising page (http://www.gofundme.com/qeuuz4) aptly named “Filling the Stands on Pride Night,” where she hoped to raise $3,000, which she would personally match. She would use the $6,000 to buy unwanted Pride Night tickets and donate them to Our Space (sunnyhillsservices.org/our-space.html, a program of Sunny Hills Services), an LGBTQ Center in Hayward that offers safe space and support services for youth to explore their identities, socialize, build community, develop leadership skills, and receive LGBTQ competent and affirming mental health services.
Eireann shared why she and Sean chose Our Space as the campaign’s primary beneficiary, "We're happy to show the teens and young adults that they always have a family in the A's community, no matter what their own personal family situation might be."
According to Stephanie Perron, Program Director at Our Space, “Most of the youth who come to Our Space are systems-involved, meaning they have been impacted by homelessness and/or the foster care, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. Nearly all of our youth are marginalized, stigmatized and underserved in our communities. They’re the frequent targets of verbal and physical abuse, abandonment and shaming. At Our Space LGBTQ youth can feel safe to be themselves, are affirmed and celebrated for who they are, and are connected to a larger LGBTQ community where they can see themselves reflected in others and receive support in making their dreams come true.”
When word spread on social media about Eireann and Sean’s campaign, their GoFundMe page exploded, raising close to $35,000 over the course of 7 days. And local and national media outlets continue to cover the campaign, resulting in a coming together of baseball fans across the country who are lauding the Oakland A’s for standing firm behind Pride Night. Whatever donated funds remain after game tickets are purchased will be evenly divided between Our Space, AIDS Project East Bay, and Frameline.
“The Our Space youth are completely blown away by the outpouring of generosity and love coming at them through Eireann and Sean’s campaign. It’s beautiful to watch. We’re so grateful to Eireann and Sean and all of the people who donated and spread the word so that the youth at Our Space, and the LBGTQ community as a whole will get to have a Pride Night they’ll never forget,” Added Stephanie Perron.
In partnership with LGBTQ youth, adults and allies, Our Space creates safe and affirming space where LGBTQ youth can socialize, build community, develop leadership skills and access culturally relevant support services. Our Space services include: safe space for LGBTQ youth to socialize and build community; psycho-educational, performance-based, skill building and peer support groups; LGBTQ affirming mental health and case management services; a clothing closet and food pantry; intergenerational community building activities; specialized support services for LGBTQ foster youth and their caregivers/families; and youth leadership development.
Our Space is a Program of Bay Area Youth Center, a Division of Sunny Hills Services. Sunny Hills Services is dedicated to helping acutely vulnerable children and youth transform their lives through programs and services in mental health, special education, transitional housing and community services. http://www.sunnyhillsservices.org